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Vizianagaram district ( ), also known as Vijayanagaram district is one of the northern coastal districts of Andhra Pradeshmarker, Indiamarker. Vizianagarammarker town is the district headquarters. The district is bounded on the east by Srikakulam districtmarker, on the southwest by Visakhapatnam district, on the southeast by the Bay of Bengalmarker, and on the northwest by Orissamarker State.

Vizianagaram district was formed on 1 June 1979, with some parts carved from the neighbouring districts of Srikakulam and Visakhapatnam. The district is named after the princely state of Vizianagaram (Vizia means victory and Nagaram means city in Telugu).

History

The history of Vizianagaram district is with Kalingamarker dynasty. In modern times, the upper part of Kalinga was gradually merged into Orissamarker state and the lower part into Andhra Pradeshmarker. The Kalinga empire extended from Cuttackmarker in Orissa to Pithapurammarker in East Godavari districtmarker as far back as the 4th century B.C. The Nandas ruled the area between 467 B.C. and 336 B.C. They were followed by the Mauryas, the Chedi, the Satavahanas, the Pitribhaktas, the Matharas, the Vasishthas, the Vishnukundinas, the early Eastern Gangas, the Eastern Chalukyas of Vengi, the late Eastern Gangas, the Reddis of Rajahmundry and the Velanati Cholas till the Kakatiyas appeared by 1210 A.D.

Recorded evidence show that some local dynasties like the Rapatri Chiefs and the Gangas of Narayanapura (situated near Balijipetamarker), the Gangas of Jantarunadu (the track now known as Srungavarapukotamarker), ruled over parts of the district from the 12th to 15th century.

The Kakatiya rulers under Ganapatideva defeated the Velanati Chola Chief, Prithvisvara who was ruling over the territory in 1210 A.D. The territory was recovered by the Eastern Gangas during the reign of Ananga Bhima III. The Gajapatis of Orissa then came to rule the territory after overthrowing the Eastern Gangas in 1443 A.D. The rule of the Gajapatis lasted for about 140 years till the Qutb Shahis conquered the territory around 1574 A.D. Consequent on the occupation of Golconda by the Mughals in 1687 A.D., the area came under the control of Mughals. When the Viceroy of the Mughals in Deccan, Nizam-ul-Mulk Asaf Jah declared independence in 1724 A.D., the area came under the rule of the Asaf Jahis.

In the war of succession after Nizam-ul-Mulk Asaf Jah died, Salabat Jung who came to power with the backing of the Frenchmarker General Marquis de Bussy, rewarded the French by ceding four Circars including the Chicacole Circar in 1753. An important event in the history of the district which occurred by about this time is the war between the Rajas of Vizianagaram and Bobbili, popularly known as Bobbili Yuddam. The war was fought between the Rajah of Vizianagarammarker aided by the French General Bussy and the Rajah of Bobbilimarker on the 24th January 1757.

Another important event in the history of the district is the war between the French and Englishmarker fought at Chandurthi in 1758, in which the French were defeated and the Northern Circars were made over to the British under a firmana from the Mughal emperor Shah Alammarker in 1765 which were placed under the then existing Chief and Council at Vizagapatam. In 1794, the Chiefs and Councils were abolished and Vizagapatam was arranged into three divisions each under a collector. Almost the entire area of the present area of Vizianagaram district fell under the second division. However the three divisions were merged and a collectorate for the whole district was established in 1803 after the introduction of the permanent settlement in the area.

The history of the rebellions against the Britishmarker rule goes back to 1830s when the people of the district particularly the tribals unable to bear the oppression, rose in frequent rebellions (fituris) leading to the establishment of separate administrative system known as "Agency Administration" under the India Act XXIV of 1839. The rebellion of Korra Mallaiah, a tribal chief of the Salurmarker area against the British rule in 1900 is another important event. The district magistrate dispatched Reserve Police to suppress the revolt, which was seriously resisted by the people. In the skirmish that followed many were killed. Korra Mallaiah along with son was arrested and kept in Jail where he died subsequently. Subsequently in the Indian freedom movement, the people hailing from this area enthusiastically took part in various phases like non-cooperative movement, civil disobedience movement, Quit India Movement etc.,

After abolition of the Zamindaris in 1948, Visakhapatnam district was found to be unwieldy for administrative purposes. Consequently, Srikakulam districtmarker was carved out in 1950 bifurcating it from Visakhapatnam district.

Vizianagaram district was formed on 1 June 1979, as per G.O.Ms.No.700/Revenue (U) Department, dated 15 May 1979 with some parts carved from the neighbouring districts of Srikakulammarker and Visakhapatnammarker. The Taluks of Vizianagarammarker, Gajapathinagarammarker, Srungavarapukotamarker and a portion of Bheemunipatnammarker Taluk were transferred from the Visakhapatnam District. The Salurmarker, Bobbilimarker, Parvathipuram and Cheepurupallimarker Taluks from Srikakulam district were transferred to the new district.

Geography

It is situated within the geographical co-ordinates of 17- 15’ and 19 – 15’ of the northern latitudes and 83 – 00’ and 83-45’’ of the eastern longitudes.

The district can be divided into two distinct natural divisions i.e. plains and hilly regions. The hilly agency area covers Pachipentamarker and Gummalaxmipuram mandals fully and Salurmarker, Makkuvamarker, Ramabhadrapurammarker, Parvathipuram and Komarada mandals partly. Rest of the area is plain. The agency region mostly consists of hills covered by the Eastern Ghats which run parallel to the Coast from the North-East to South-West. The average height of these hills is over 914 meters, although there are several peaks of 1,219 meters high. In Parvathipuram division, the hills are lower than elsewhere and consists of steep and rugged lines devoid of plateaus.

The principal rivers flowing in the district are River Nagavalimarker, Suvarnamukhi, Vegavathi, River Champavathi, River Gosthani and Kandivalasa.

The main soils are red soils, sandy loams and sandy clay, which constitute 96 % of the total area. The predominant soils are loamy with medium fertility. There are red loamy soils in dry lands and clay loamy in wet lands. The soils at some places are as thick as 4 meters, probably represents alluvium along the valleys.

The total geographical area of the district is 6300.38 km². About 51.1 % of the land area is sown for agriculture and another 12.3 % land is put to non-agricultural uses. The forest covers about 17.8 % of the land. About 12.3 % of the land is Barren and uncultivable. About 4 % land is current and other Fallow lands.

The climate of Vizianagaram district is characterized by high humidity nearly all-round the year with oppressive summer and good seasonal rainfall. The summer season from March to May is followed by South West monsoon season, which continues up to September. October and November constitute the retreating monsoon season. The climate of the hilly regions of the district receives heavier rainfall and cooler than the plains. The maximum temperature recorded during 2004 is 39.6O C during May and the minimum temperature is 17.1O C during December.

The normal annual rainfall of the district is 1,131.0 mm. The district gets the benefits of both the South West and North East monsoons.

There is a coast line of 28 kilometers in the district on the east facing Bay of Bengalmarker. There are 8 villages and 16 hamlets consisting of 6,993 fishermen. They are situated in Pusapatirega and Bhogapurammarker mandals.

Economy

Vizianagaram district is predominantly an agricultural district as 68.4 % of the workers are engaged in Agriculture and about 82 % of the population is living in rural areas and depend on Agriculture for their livelihood. Rainfed farming is the characteristic of Agriculture, as about 80 % of the cultivation is purely under rain fed conditions. Even the irrigated area is mostly depend on the rainfall. Hence majority of crops grown are dry crops. Paddy crop is cultivated mainly during Kharif season with 80 % of the area is under Tanks which in turn depend on the rainfall. The major crops grown are Paddy, Mesta, Groundnut, Ragi, Bajra, Cotton, Sugarcane and Pulses. The average crop yields are low.

Irrigation Projects

There are no major irrigation projects in the district. The Denkada Anicut, Thatipudi Reservoir, Andra Reservoir Project, Vegavathi Anicut, Surapadu Anicut, Seethanagarammarker Anicut, Peda Ankalam Anicut, Vottigedda Reservoir Project, Paradi Anikut, Thotapalli Regulator and Vengala Raya Sagaram Project are the medium irrigation projects. The total irrigated area under these projects and the other minor projects is about . Jhanjavati Project is constructed in 2005 in Komarada mandal on river Jhanjavati, a tributary of River Nagavalimarker. It is a rubber dam and first of its kind in India and the biggest in Asia.

These 12 medium irrigation projects have an Ayacut of 439.84 km². Besides these irrigation projects, there are 1,065 Minor irrigation sources with an ayacut of 512.15 km² and 8,616 minor irrigation Tanks (Panchayat Raj) with an ayacut of 721.12 km².

Industries

The industrial development in the district generally agriculture based and consists of Jute mills, Sugar factories, Rice and Oil mills and Tiles manufacturing units. The mineral deposits are utilized by the FACOR and other industries. There are 520 factories registered under the Factories Act in 2005 in the district employing about 27,800 workers (males and females).
  • Sri Padma Infoway at Vizianagarammarker
  • The Ferro Alloys Corporation Limited (FACOR Group of Companies) at Sriramnagar, Garividimarker.
  • Jindal Stainless Limited (Ferro Alloys Division), Kothavalasamarker.
  • Andhra Ferro Alloys Limited, Kothavalasamarker and Garbham.
  • Goldstar Steel Alloy (India) Limited at Sreerampuram, Lakkavarapukotamarker.
  • Sri Vijayarama Gajapathi Cooperative Sugars, Bheemasingi, Jami mandal.
  • The N.C.S. Sugars Limited, Latchayyapeta.
  • Nellimarla Jute Mills Company Limited, Nellimarlamarker.
  • The Hoogly Mills Projects Limited, Vizianagaram, Bobbili and V.T.Agraharam.
  • A.P.Fibres Limited, Jeegiram, Salurmarker.
  • Uma Jute Mills, Kothavalasa.
  • Navya Jute Mills Limited, Bobbilimarker.
  • Srinivasa Jute Mills Limited, Bhyripuram.
  • Jyothi Jute Mills Limited, Dibbaguddivalasa, Bobbili mandal.
  • Andhra Tyre Works, Industrial Park, Vizianagaram
  • Brick and tile making industries around Kothavalasamarker.
  • Sagar cement factory at Karasavalasa village of Salurmarker mandal.
  • Matrix Laboratories Limited, G.Chodavaram, Pusapatirega.
  • HBL Power systems Limited, Kandivalasa, Pusapatirega Mandal, Vizianagaram
  • APSRTC Garage and Zonal Workshop, Vizianagaram.
  • Andhra Pradesh Tanneries Limited, Nellimarlamarker.
  • Narayani Steels Private Limited,Industrial Estate, Vizianagaram


Banking and finance

Nationalized Banks and private and cooperative banks operate in the district from 148 branches. State Bank of Indiamarker with 29 branches and Andhra Bank 14 branches are the leading banks in the district. S.V. Grameena Bank with 56 branches and Vizianagaram district Cooperative Central Bank are the leading cooperative banks.

Divisions

There are 12 assembly and 2 parliamentary constituencies in Vizianagaram district. The parliamentary constituencies are Vizianagarammarker and Parvathipuram. The assembly constituencies in Vizianagaram district are Bhogapurammarker, Bobbilimarker, Cheepurupallimarker, Gajapathinagarammarker, Naguru, Parvathipuram, Salurmarker, Nellimarlamarker, Srungavarapukotamarker, Rajammarker, Uttarapalli and Vizianagarammarker.

There are 2 revenue divisions, 34 Mandalsmarker, 935 Panchayats and 1,551 revenue villages in Vizianagaram district. The revenue divisions are Parvathipuram and Vizianagarammarker.
Vizianagaram Division Parvathipuram Division
Bhogapurammarker Badangi
Bondapalli Balijipetamarker
Cheepurupallimarker Bobbilimarker
Dattirajeru Garugubilli
Denkada Gummalaxmipuram
Gajapathinagarammarker Jiyyammavalasa
Gantyada Komarada
Garividimarker Kurupammarker
Gurla Makkuvamarker
Jamimarker Pachipentamarker
Kothavalasamarker Parvathipuram
Lakkavarapukotamarker Ramabhadrapurammarker
Mentadamarker Salurmarker
Merakamudidam Seethanagarammarker
Nellimarlamarker Therlam
Pusapatirega
Srungavarapukotamarker
Vepada
Vizianagarammarker


Transport and Communications

Railway and Bus services are the major modes of transport for the people in Vizianagaram district. Visakhapatnammarker is the nearest airport.

Railway network in the entire district comes under Waltairmarker Division of the East Coast Railway, Indian Railways. Vizianagarammarker and Kothavalasamarker are the main railway junctions. There are 28 railway stations in the district. The route length is 169.656 kilometers in Broad Gauge Double Line and 68.860 kilometers in Broad Gauge Single line.

Total Road length in the district as on 2005 is 6,018 kilometers covering 561 villages. National Highways 5 and 43 passes through the district and covers a distance of 200 kilometers. National Highway 43 runs almost entirely in Vizianagaram district for a distance of 83 kilometers and passes through Orissa to Raipur in Chattisgarh (total length of 551 kilometers). It passes through Vizianagarammarker, Gajapathinagarammarker, Ramabhadrapurammarker and Salurmarker towns. National Highway 5 passes through coastal mandals of Bhogapurammarker and Pusapatirega. State Highways covers a distance of 122 kilometers, major district roads 852 kilometers and rural roads 781 kilometers. The Panchayat Raj roads covers a distance of 4,080 kilometers.

Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) is the major public transport system operated by fleet of buses. Vizianagaram is one of the 4 zones and one of the 23 administrative regions headed by General Manager of APSRTC. There are 4 bus depots at Vizianagarammarker, Parvathipuram, Srungavarapukotamarker and Salurmarker. There are many bus stations in the entire district. APSRTC operated 441 buses with an average of 371 buses covering a distance of 420 kilometers of route. They have carried about 46 lakhs of passengers per month in 2005.

Auto Rickshaw, Cycle rickshaw and Cycles are the major modes of local transport in the small towns and villages.

There are 3 Head Post Offices in Vizianagaram, Parvathipuram and Bobbili. There are 628 Branch and Sub Post Offices in Vizianagaram district covering all the mandals. There are 62 Telegraph Offices in the district.

There are 78 Telephone Exchanges in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh Circle of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limitedmarker. The total customer base is 51,315 phone connections covering all the mandals. There are 6,223 public call offices. Idea Cellular, Airtel and Tata Indicom are the major private cellular services operates in Vizianagaram district as part of their services in Andhra Pradesh.

Demographics

The district had a population of 9,58,778 in 1901. The total population of district increased to 22,49,254 as per 2001 census.They consists of 11,19,541 males and 11,29,713 females. There are 1009 females per 1000 males in the district. The total area is 6,539 square kilometres. The population density is 344 persons per km². The increase in population during the decennium from 1991 to 2001 is 6.55 percent for the district as against 14.6 percent for the Andhra Pradesh State.

The Scheduled Caste population is 2,38,023 and Scheduled Tribe population is 2,14,839 which comes to 10.58 % and 9.55 % respectively to the total population of the district.

The rural population of the district is 18.37 lakhs which comes to 82 % of the total population and the urban population is 4.12 lakhs which comes to 18 % of the total population. Vizianagaram Town with a population of 1,95,801 is the only Class-I town in the district. There are twelve towns in the district; Vizianagarammarker, Gajularega, Kanapaka, Bobbilimarker, Parvathipuram, Salurmarker, Sriramnagar, Nellimarlamarker, Kothavalasamarker, Chintalavalasa, Jarjapupeta and Gajapathinagarammarker. All the towns are in plain areas of the district.

Culture

The social customs in Vizianagaram district are South Indian Style with minor changes. The local people are soft spoken and kind at heart with strong family traditions. Gurajada Appa Rao (1862-1915) used all forms of literature like drama, novel, poetry, short story and essay with equal facility. He assimilated the culture and language of this region and became the forerunner of social reforms in India.

The predominant religion is Hinduism. The major festivals are Sankranthi, Ugadi and Rama Navami, Maha Shivaratri, Deepavali, Ganesh Chaturthi, Dasara and Vijayadasami. The nine-day festival celebrations during Rama Navami and Ganesh Chaturthi are very popular in many towns and associated with many cultural events including Stage Dramas, Harikathas, Burra kathas etc. Festivals of Gramadevatha are held annually at Vizianagaram, Bobbili, Salur, Parvathipuram and Sambara with much fanfare. The most popular amongst them is Pydithalli Ammavari Jatra, celebrated at Vizianagaram on Vijayadasami day.

Television and Radio are regular homely entertainment. Telugu films are very popular in recent days. There are as many as 81 Movie theaters in almost all the towns, mandals and big villages in the district. In many places, it is the only mode of entertainment outside.

The cuisine is strikingly South Indian Style with Rice as the staple food accompanied by Dals, Rasam or Sambar, Vegetable Curries, Pickles and Curd.

Flora and Fauna

Forestry plays an important role in the economy of the district. The forest types found in the district are 1.Southern tropical mixed deciduous forests, 2.Northern tropical dry deciduous forests, 3.Southern tropical dry mixed deciduous forests, 4.Dry deciduous green forests and 5.Dry evergreen forests.

Fauna in the district is fairly high in the interior hill regions, but it is heavily threatened with extinction. The reasons for the depletion are mainly shrinkage of habitat and uncontrolled poaching. The principal animals are yellow bat, sloth bear, wild buffaloes, fox, hare, hyena, jackal, mongoose etc., The principal birds are blue rock pigeon, house crow, house sparrow, common myna pitta etc.,

Education

Vizianagaram district has been comparatively backward in the field of education. The literacy rate is 51.82 % as against the average of 61.55 % for the entire Andhra Pradesh State.

There are 2379 Primary Schools, 462 Upper Primary Schools and 341 High Schools in 2004-2005. There are 81 Junior and 33 Degree Colleges. There are 14 Industrial Training Institutes and 2 Polytechnic Colleges. There are 9 B.Ed. Colleges and 1 M.Ed. College, one Sanskrit College and one Music and Dance College. There is a Postgraduate Center at Vizianagaram, 5 Engineering Colleges, 2 Law Colleges and a Medical College in this district.

There are 38 Branch Libraries in the district managed by Zilla Grandhalaya Samstha. They are located 1-2 in each mandal. There are about 41 book depot centres in the district.
  • Avanthi Institute of Engineering and Technology, Cherukupalli, Bhogapuram.
  • Gokul Institute of Science and Technology, Bobbili.
  • Kodi Rama Murthy College of Physical Education, Bobbili.
  • Maharaja's Music College.
  • Maharaja's Sanskrit College.
  • Maharaja's Vijayaram Gajapathi Raju Law College, Vizianagaram.
  • Maharaja's Post-graduate Centre, Vizianagaram.
  • Maharaj Vijayaram Gajapath Raj College of Engineering, Vizianagaram.
  • Maharaja's Institute of Medical Sciences, Nellimarla.
  • St. Theressa Institute of Engineering and Technology, Garividi.
  • Thandra Paparaya Institute of Science and Technology, Bobbili.
  • Srinivasa Junior & degree college, Vizianagaram
  • Gayatri Junior & degree college, Vizianagaram


Sports

The Maharajkumar of Vizianagram fondly known as Sir Vizzy popularized the cricket game in North Coastal Andhra Pradesh. It is in honor of this great entrepreneur of cricket that Vizzy Stadium was made in his home town, Vizianagaram. The Vizzy Stadium is one of the Cricket grounds in Andhra Pradesh, where first class cricket is played. Vizzy led India in Test cricket and later became a cricket administrator and commentator. He was the President for the Board of Control for Cricket in India. He loved doing commentaries for All India Radio. He was a very benevolent man, who donated the Wellington pavilion at the Ferozshah Kotla stadium in New Delhimarker.

References

Sri Padma Infoway

Further reading

  • Handbook of Statistics-Vizianagaram district.2004-2005.


External links




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